One former Mercer professional, who likewise declined to be named, concurred: "People lost a ton of money," as not only bonuses, but (until recently) all of Mercer employees' stock investment plan accounts had been in Marsh stock, he said.
Whether that setback has left Mercer veterans more receptive to calls from rivals is an open question. In recent months, several longtime Mercer consultants have moved on, including:
• Stan Samples, who joined Chicago Consulting Actuaries in January, after 26 years with Mercer Human Resource Consulting in Atlanta;
• Chris Levell, who joined New England Pension Consultants in mid-March after 17 years, first with Mercer Human Resource Consulting and later with Mercer Investment Consulting's asset liability team in Chicago;
• Drew Carrington, who joined UBS Global Asset Management in February, after 15 years with Mercer Investment Consulting in Atlanta;
• Nancy Williams, who joined Ennis Knupp & Associates in January, after just less than 10 years with Mercer Investment Consulting in Chicago as the firm's national leader of the governance and policy unit;
• Perry Williams, who joined Sands Capital Management, Arlington, Va.. in December as director of client services after just less than 10 years with Mercer Investment Consulting in Atlanta; and
• Greg Young, who joined Sanford C. Bernstein, New York, in December as a senior portfolio manager after just less than 10 years with Mercer Investment Consulting.
Recent departees, who declined to be named, said the fallout from Marsh's stock price plunge, though painful, probably hasn't been a decisive factor in those departures. Attrition at Mercer Investment Consulting probably is higher than the company would like, but the nature of those departures is likely more proactive – in terms of pursuing new opportunities – than reactive, said one departee.
In an interview, Dean Connor, who was recently named president of U.S. operations for Mercer Human Resource Consulting, said turnover among investment consultants, while up "a bit" recently, hasn't really changed much over the past year or so.